Anyone who’s driven to the ER vet with a sick pet will understand exactly how my weekend went. Poor JoJo is not feeling well, puking and whatnot, and needed tests and fluids and a bland diet. Up all night Saturday, to the ER vet Sunday, and me sleeping next to her kennel on the kitchen floor. In the light of Monday morning, and with my vet, we think it’s a combination of stress/separation, me giving her too many treats (bad mama), and a common, treatable parasite.
Watching her heaving and suffering has been excruciating, but there’s also a 35 year old wound that’s been pricked. When I was 9 my mother and I moved in with my grandparents, and mom got me a puppy from the Humane Society: my first dog. A little yellow pup, like the one I have today. Grandma would not allow the pup in her house, so it stayed on the screened porch. It had only been about a week when I walked home from 4th grade for lunch to find a stiff puppy. She’d died of worms (we guessed). What I remember most about that day is touching my puppy’s unbending legs, and my grandmother grabbing me hard by the arm, telling me to clean myself up, I was going back to school.
And I did. I spent the afternoon in the nurse’s office.
When I got home at 3:00, my mother had just left for her shift and the pup had disappeared.
Now to the present …
Grandma has been long gone, but I’ve held this against her for 35 years. When my mother would say to me, “I wish you didn’t hate Grandma,” I often replied, “Grandma was mean.” As with all of us humans, Grandma was not all bad. I loved her. I had many fun times with her. But she had another side too, a cold, hard side, and no matter how many goods she did after this thing with my puppy, I never got over it.
This weekend, with the constant sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, taking care of my new JoJo, and remembering every detail of that old yellow pup, I can feel how fresh it all remains. The feel of her grip on my arm. The long 2 blocks back to school in the sunshine. The gray cot with no pillow in the nurse’s office. The disappearance of that first pup.
As for now, I’m sure JoJo will be well soon. And to end this dreadful tale on an uplifted note, thankfully I have some help from Lea in the TLC department: